National award-winners: the school that took over a hotel and ran it for a day - plus case studies of the six other winners

13th June 1997 at 01:00

Teacher and management development

Winning Company:

Gardner Merchant


Training in hospitality and catering

The success:

Students aged 15 won credits towards NVQs, usually reserved for post-16 trainees in the workplace. It boosted basic skills and a headstart in career plans for the young people, half of whom had statements of special educational needs. Teachers also improved management skills through company links and placements. Typically, Martin (who has a statement) passed his Basic Food Hygiene Certificate with flying colours and he will be assessed for NVQ units. English and maths staff noted a marked improvement in his work.

The project:

Teachers identified the need for vocational work alongside traditional GCSEs and realised it could come through NVQ-style competence training. Gardner Merchant agreed to be involved, providing placements for staff and 200 students from 15 Manchester schools. A huge initiative developed which included in-service teacher training, liaison with industry, workshops for students in school and extra resources for learning, training and assessment.

What one student from Westleigh High schools said: "I understand that although I don't want to be a caterer, I have been given an opportunity to develop skills, gain accreditation and promote myself to future employers."

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